Casey DeSantis, First Lady of the State of Florida, came after California Governor Gavin Newsom on Twitter after he accused the DeSantis administration of “bullying” the special Olympics.
“For those who need a reminder… This is why we fight. Isabella competed in the Special Olympics because @RonDeSantisFL stood up and fought for her and all the other Special Olympians who would have been sidelined. We will never stop fighting for people like Isabella,” Casey DeSantis said in a Monday tweet.
The tweet from Casey DeSantis is likely a comment on a tweet from Newsom back in June accusing Ron DeSantis of “Bullying. The. Special Olympics” after they were held in Orlando.
Newsom’s comment comes after Ron DeSantis pressured the Special Olympic coordinators into dropping their COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which would have put many athletes in a difficult position due to potential adverse effects of the vaccine and for others who simply would have been sidelined for refusing to succumb to pressure.
“They imposed on the athletes a COVID vaccine mandate. … If you did not submit and you did not get the COVID vax, you would be denied the ability to compete in the Special Olympics,” DeSantis said last month. He told the story of one competitor who was pressured into receiving the vaccine only to face severe health issues as a result.
“So for example, there was a family from Kansas,” DeSantis said. “They went to six different doctors to plead for a medical exemption for their son that had Down syndrome, wanted the exemption from the vax, wanted to be able to compete. They were told to just get the first dose and if he experiences any side effects, then the medical exemption will then be offered.”
“Well, the son with Down syndrome did do that under pressure, had a seizure, was rushed to the hospital after his first dose,” he continued. “And so then he was granted the exemption after having to go through that, which was so unnecessary, and it was just something that was totally ridiculous.”
“And so you’re seeing that over and over where these people are gonna have to make these decisions and it’s not necessarily some of it’s just personal choice, which is fine by me, but some of it you actually have advised against doing this. And a lot of these special olympians have also had COVID by now because I mean, most people have had it by now. And so to impose that mandate now in June of 2022, you know, it didn’t make sense.” DeSantis concluded.
DeSantis finally threatened the organization with a $27.5 million fine if they kept the mandate in place, and on June 2 they reversed the vaccine mandate and allowed those athletes to compete.
“Delegates who were registered for the Games but were unable to participate due to the prior vaccine requirement, now have the option to attend,” the Special Olympics said in a statement.
After the organization reversed the decision, DeSantis said, “This was important that we engaged in this. I wish it did not have to come to this. I wish this had been resolved earlier, but I do think that this is something that’s very, very important.”
Newsom’s attack on DeSantis is just the latest in a string of targeted harassment towards a governor in a state 3,000 miles away from him. Earlier this month, the California governor bought ad space in the Sunshine State, which was about as effective as just burning the money.
“Gavin Newsom might as well light a pile of cash on fire,” said Dave Abrams, a spokesperson for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ reelection campaign. “Pass the popcorn for his desperate attempt to win back the California refugees who fled the hellhole he created in his state to come to Florida.”
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